Misamis Oriental awarded Seal of Good Housekeeping

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/14 Sept) – Misamis Oriental has been awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping by the Department of Interior and Local Government for “taking bold steps towards meaningful change in the arena of local governance.”

In a letter addressed to Governor Oscar Moreno, DILG 10 regional director Loreto Bhagwani identified Misamis Oriental as a “qualifier in the nationwide assessment for the Seal of Good Housekeeping under the province category” and along with it, a fund incentive for local development projects.

“As such, this entitles your LGU to access the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) in the amount of  Php 7 million. We truly salute you for taking bold steps towards meaningful change in the arena of local governance,” Bhagwani’s letter reads.

The Seal of Good Housekeeping for LGUs is in line with the DILG’s commitment to “aggressively scale up interventions to elevate the practice of governance that values transparency, accountability, participation and performance into an institutionalized status.”

The project aims to recognize LGUs with good governance performance in internal housekeeping particularly on four areas: good planning; sound fiscal management; transparency and accountability; and valuing of performance monitoring.

Maria Cecilia Casiño-Rivera, the provincial spokesperson said the award has inspired the workers to “even do better.”

“We are grateful and proud of this recognition and this has inspired us to do even better,” she said.

Rivera said the province has yet to decide which project will be funded by the PCF grant but would “definitely be in line with the governor’s development program and the guidelines of the SGH.”

DILG-Misamis Oriental Office provincial director Ponciano Caberte said that under DILG Memorandum Circular 2011-62, “Guidelines in the implementation of the Performance Challenge Fund,” the fund may only be used for projects in attainment of the Millennium Development Goals; local economic development; and adaptation to climate change and preparedness for disasters.

This means Misamis Oriental will have access to additional funds for school buildings, rural health units, water and sanitation systems, farm-to-market roads, housing and settlements, among other development projects, he said.

Caberte said the PCF grant may also be used to subsidize the province’s big projects, as counterpart-funds for foreign-assisted projects, as co-financing for joint projects with other LGUs and as counterpart for projects of the province with the private sector in the “context of public-private partnership.”

“I would like to remind the LGU, however, that the provincial government is required to allocate the same amount (Php 7 million) as a prerequisite to the implementation of the PCF,” said Caberte.

He said  the conferment of the Seal of Good Housekeeping serves as “another significant milestone in our quest to achieve good governance, valuing transparency and accountability” under the administration of Moreno.

Aside from Misamis Oriental, only the island-province of Camiguin has garnered the award for local governance in the provincial category in the Northern Mindanao region. (Cong B. Corrales/MindaNews)